Several world-class and national rankings of universities are to be announced in the next few months. It started by Times Higher Education (THE), London, by releasing its list of the best 100 universities in emerging economies for the year 2020. 11 universities in India have been included in this specific ranking, of which the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore has been ranked 16th.

However, this is not the original world-class ranking of Times Higher Education. The original ranking of THE was launched in 2004. Times Higher Education, ARWU and QS are considered to be at the top of the university rankings that students and teachers around the world use. The ranking of universities with emerging economies was started in the year 2014. It includes universities in 47 countries such as China, India, Russia, Brazil, Taiwan, Turkey and South Africa. These countries are chosen based on the FTSE list of the London Stock Exchange, ie LSE.

The latest rankings include names of 55 universities in India. IIT (Kharagpur) and IIT (Mumbai) have got 32nd and 34th rank respectively. Apart from these institutions, some other Indian institutions are in the list of top 100 universities. Among these, IIT (Delhi) came at 38th, IIT (Roorkee) at 58th and IIT (Indore) at 61st. Two other Indian institutions, IIT (Madras) and IIT (Ropar) jointly rank 63. A total of 11 such Indian institutions have been included in the list of top 100 universities. Times Higher Education’s list of 533 best universities includes 56 universities in India. However, the dominance of Chinese universities is only. Seven of the top 10 universities are from China. 

Indian higher educational institutions may not perform well in the global rankings, but in the 2020 list of universities of emerging economies, India’s prominence after China will be called encouraging. THE also appears encouraged by the good performance of Indian universities. Its CEO Phil Batty says that some credit for this encouraging performance can be given to the ‘Institute of Eminence’ scheme announced in 2018 by the Government of India. 

Many efforts have been made in the last years to revive Indian higher education from a worrisome situation globally. One of the major efforts was the NIRF Rankings launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Human Resources, which is not world class, but the main objective of starting it was to awaken Indian universities to Kumbhakarni sleep and prepare them for ranking culture and world class competition. Many academics are not happy with the blind race of the rankings. They ask why it is important for Indian universities to participate in the ranking. Looking deeply, it will be known that the decisive component of immigration of fast growing students globally is mainly ranking. In the last 30 years, the world has grown rapidly towards a knowledge-based economy. America, Britain, Europe, A large part of Canada and Australia’s national income comes from fees and living expenses of foreign students. The second major reason for the popularity of the rankings is to attract highly enlightened, creative and research talents from around the world to their respective countries. It is said that there will not be world wars for capital and labor in the 21st century, but all countries will fight for human talent. 

At every stage in India’s higher education, a question arises again and again why do our universities lag behind in the world-class rankings? IITs, IIMs and Central Universities have no shortage of financial resources, but why are they not able to perform well in these rankings? Universities are ranked on the basis of teaching, research, income from industries, and internationalization. In the Times ranking, 30 percent emphasis is placed on quality of teaching, 60 percent on research and citation, 2.5 percent on income from industries and 7.5 percent on internationalization. An analysis of the world-class Times Rankings of the year 2020 shows that India’s higher education institutions perform well in terms of education and engagement with industries, But they are defeated in the field of research. On the one hand, there is less entrepreneurship and enthusiasm to publish research papers among Indian professors, on the other hand the citations impact of their papers is also relatively less.

If we try to get the opinion of teachers about this, then many complaints will be heard. Such as lack of research resources in the laboratories and libraries of universities, increased burden of teaching and administrative work, neglect of research work in colleges and universities for the last several decades. Openness and relaxation of ideological expression by universities in the US and Europe has been a major motivating factor in promoting research and research in higher education. The increasing pressure and politicization on freedom of expression has adversely affected research and research environment.

Being unhappy and disappointed at the plight of Indian universities in the world-class rankings will not work. If we want to attract millions of foreign students to study in India by making India the center of higher education, then the central and state governments must together give higher priority to higher education. Spending one to 1.5 percent of gross national income on higher education will not work. This would have to be increased to 2.5 percent within the next three years. Recently, the proposed draft of the new education policy by the Kasturirangan Committee, which has proposed an annual expenditure of Rs 20,000 crore on research and research, is welcome, but it is not enough, given the international competition.


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